“I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12 For many years I didn’t believe this simple statement. I believed that my sins were stored up in Heaven and if I didn’t live up to everything that God commanded of me or repent of every sin then those sins would be re-examined and I would be condemned. How wrong I was!
This is the good news of the Bible that we are not condemned by our past sins and they are not held against us, but are forgiven and forgotten because of the cross. In fact our sins are not only forgiven but we are also justified by the blood of Jesus who paid the price for sin when He died on Calvary’s cross as our great substitute.
“Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies him who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:23-26
Just writing these verses excites my heart. When God looks at us He sees us not as we are but as men and women who are covered by the blood of Jesus. He sees us as if we had never sinned because our sins are forgiven and forgotten. “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 Jesus took our sin upon Himself and put His righteousness to our account and this is not accomplished by our works but by His grace, love, mercy and compassion for us.
In Hebrews 8:12 we can notice three aspects of God’s pardon that sets us free from condemnation and fear of God’s wrath. “I will be merciful.” First, it’s God’s mercy not our merit that frees us from the condemnation of our past. God is a merciful God. “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15 KJV).
God’s mercy and forgiveness of sins is for all mankind. Second, notice the plurality of God’s promise, “Their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (italics supplied) If you are anything like me there are many things in your past that you would rather not remember let alone have God pondering over. But the writer of Hebrews tells us all our unrighteousness, sins and lawless deeds are remembered no more when we accept Christ as our Saviour.
There is no sin that God can’t, won’t or doesn’t forgive once we have put our faith in Him. Amen! Amen! Amen! You and I don’t have to live as scared rabbits always wondering if we are good enough or if we’ve remembered to confess every little thing we’ve done wrong. The God of the Universe who longs to love us, save us and live eternally in our presence loves us unconditionally. The biggest lie Satan has ever told is that we can’t have assurance in the promise of God’s saving grace.
The third aspect of the text regarding our pardon is that God says, “I will remember no more.” This is a central core idea of the new covenant and an aspect of it that we should cling to with all our strength, might and trust. Let me be clear. Jesus is saying that your sins are gone forever and God does not remember them again when you accept Jesus substitutionary death on your behalf. It is Satan who throws your past up into your face and tells you that God has your sins all stored up and is just waiting to pull them out and bang you over the head with them at the least mistake you make.
Memorize Psalm 103:12 and never disbelieve the truth of this verse, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Think about that. They are gone. Acts 3:19 states, “repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Your sins are blotted out. The idea is of erasing a chalkboard without leaving a trace of what was written behind. That is what God says about your sins when we come to Him for forgiveness.
Micah prophesied saying, “He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Corrie ten Boom once said regarding this text, “God casts our sins into the sea of His forgetfulness and puts a sign up saying, NO FISHING!”
If God forgives and forgives then we must not let the Devil throw our sins in our face and use them to condemn us. We are covered by the righteousness of God and our sins are washed away in the grace of God that flows freely from the throne of Grace. “For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,’ then He adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more.’ “ Hebrews 10:14-17 (Read Hebrews 10:18-25; 1 John 1:7, 9; Romans 8:33, 34 as well).
Since God says, “I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more,” then why not believe God and accept the fact that you have a clean slate, erased without trace because of His love for you. God is not out to get us or try to keep us out of Heaven, but instead He died for us that we could be reconciled with Him and have the gift of eternal life freely given to us. Praise God for such love.
* Horrendous crimes are being committed against Christians and other faiths in Iraq, not to mention the continuous persecution in many countries around the world. Please remember to pray for these people. Go to http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ for updates on persecution of Christians